The Nitrogen Cycle

Gingrich

New member
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
71
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Country
United States
Display Name
Oskar
I have a new 20 gal. tank with java moss and elodea, gravel, etc. I already know there are several ways of "cycling" the tank, but, which is the best or fastest way of doing this. (I'm hoping to get the newts in by Christmas). Thanks.
 

MRIGUY

New member
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
333
Reaction score
16
Points
0
Location
Bethlehem, PA
Country
United States
Your question is analagous to asking how you can age wine the fastest. What you can do is make it start faster and jump start the process with gravel / sand / a filter pad etc. from an established tank. By doing so you will seed all the types of bacteria you will need. They will just need to adjust their population density to the available metabolite. Having said that, the process does take time and a source of nutrients. You can add a pinch of flake food, a very small piece of fresh seafood or forgive my bluntness a drop or two of urine. Sounds gross but remember it is sterile and totally harmles. I'd keep it to myself if I were you though because others in the house may revolt.
 

Jennewt

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
12,407
Reaction score
74
Points
48
Location
USA
Country
United States
The beneficial bacteria live on surfaces. There are a few in the water, but it's more efficient to use some sand, plants, or ornaments (especially ornaments that have a rough or porous texture) from an established tank, rather than just water. See:
http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml

If the tank you are setting up is understocked (a newt or two in a decent-sized tank), you can set up the tank with a filter pad or ornaments from another tank and put the newts in a few days later. During the first month, you still need to monitor ammonia and nitrite, but unless you have uneaten food sitting around in the tank, it's unlikely that the levels will be high enough to be a problem.
 

MRIGUY

New member
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
333
Reaction score
16
Points
0
Location
Bethlehem, PA
Country
United States
Pretty simple process.

Ammonia waste is released into the water and the ammonia levels rise

Nitrosomas bacteria eat ammonia and their population will rise and the ammonia levels will drop

A by product of the above it Nitrite and those levels will rise over time

Nitrobacter bacteria eat nitrite and their population will rise and the nitrite will drop

A by product of this second step is Nitrate

Nitrate is the least toxic of the three and the concentration will rise over time.

Just because it is less toxic does not mean Nitrate levels should be allowed to rise above a few ppm at most. Consistently high levels are indicitive of overfeeding, underfiltration, or generally poor husbandry and will lead to stressed animals.

Nitrate is removed by the metabolic action of plants, water changes, and special bacteria that are generally not found in any concentration in normal fishtanks as they are anaerobic and require either a very slow flow chamber, a very deep substrate, or a plenum set-up.
 

Jennewt

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
12,407
Reaction score
74
Points
48
Location
USA
Country
United States
The tank is cycled when the ammonia and nitrite are consistently zero.
 

Gingrich

New member
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
71
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Country
United States
Display Name
Oskar
The newts at the store are only about 1.5"-1.75" long and my 20 gallon tank is about 3/4 full. Would it be okay if I got 3 of these newts and some more plants and/or an ornament from one of the store's established tanks? I'm also considering one of those bacterial cultures to help stimulate the cycling of the tank.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Lonewolf:
    Ok I’m new so I have a pink Axolotl and it’s a baby like two three max inches and it eats from the top and it has now been floating a while now should I be worried ?? The other one is at the bottom of the tank and the tail isint hoocked or the gills aren’t curved flowerd they seem relaxed
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lonewolf:
    ?? I’m new owner to the type of fish
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Lonewolf has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lanalotl:
    Hi I recently rescued a lotl (i did weeks of research before rescuing) Hes mabey 5 or 6 years of age..the previous owner could not remember the exact age of him. I got him from her as he was or had been picked on by his tank mate another lotl who was bough with him from every younger age, I noticed one of his gills, a middle one at the end had split in two? And is slightly more floppy? He also appears or mabey I'm just over worried to mabey have lost some feathers, is that normal to lose some?...all levels in the tank are fine, but wondered if theres and advice anyone could give me as an experienced owner to a new one.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Axolotl Queen:
    @Lanalotl Sounds like the gills may have been nipped by the tank mate. If he is in his own tank and the parameters etc are all good, then he should grow them back and they should go back to full health and strength. However, depending on how old the injury is they may not fully grow back if they have been constantly nipped at.
    +2
    Unlike
  • Smknmom421:
    Can anyone tell me why this is happening? We just did a water change and after freaking out and whipping around the tank, an hour later they look like this. It won't let me send a pic. The edges of their gills are white and it looks like they have skin shedding off
    +1
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    That sounds like severe skin damage. If you post a thread on the forum, you can attach pictures.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    It sounds like something went wrong with the water change, so this could be very dangerous. Did you use a dechlorinator? Could it be there are traces of chlorine or soap in the water? (Or for example, in the bucket you used?)
    +1
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    Normally, I would recommend taking them out of the tank asap and putting them in a tub with fresh water, but if there's something wrong with your tap water or dechlorinator, that might not help either. Do you have acces to bottled water or rain water?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Sal22:
    I think my axie is dying, he’s never had any issues before, I’ve had him 3 years, today I noticed some fluffy looking stuff coming from his genital area so I took him out of his tank and did a full tank clean to make sure the water wasn’t infected as I thought it was fungus and then I noticed he had a cut on his belly which was only small about 5 hours ago and now it’s spread to all of his belly, what do I do I’m freaking out
    +1
    Unlike
  • Sal22:
    Update about my axie, unfortunately he has died over night, he looked as if he was bruised allover his belly, his mucus layer had also started to come off.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Ganaa:
    Anyone here from DMV?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • AlexisJG:
    Hi I have 2 4in juveniles (I’ve had them about 2 weeks and they are doing well I think they’ve grown a little already honestly) but I am supposed to go on a 5-6 day vacation in October about 3-4 months from now. I am wondering how I should go about their care when I am gone. I thought about putting them in separate (fairly big) containers with live plants and/or bubblers with a fan in the dark and either fridging them (my last plan) but I am hoping to to either have someone I trust come feed them and turkey baste waste out or just leave them out and clean the containers before we leave and have someone come check on them once or twice. Does any of this sound like a good or bad idea? I want the best for them. All help appreciated :)
    +1
    Unlike
  • Ganaa:
    @patrickstar116, do you still have your fire salamanders?
    +1
    Unlike
  • patrickstar116:
    @Ganaa, I do you may message me if you wish
    +1
    Unlike
  • HalfDrunkToast:
    hi.....
    +1
    Unlike
  • JDeslippe21:
    Hi, so I have 2 male axolotls and about an hour ago they were both perfectly fine and now only one of them has his tail curling up and his gills are slightly curled?? But other than that they’re both acting normally
    +1
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    Could be he's just excited, spooked or temporarily stressed, which could pass in a few hours. It could also be an indicator of other problems. Do you have any recent water parameters?
    +1
    Unlike
  • AlexisJG:
    Does anyone have any idea how to help with high ammonia levels? I have the API freshwater master kit and everything else’s test results were great besides ammonia. I did a 50% water change and I use API products including ammonia lock.
    +1
    Unlike
  • MuggleMiChu:
    Help! I got my first axolotl two days ago and they have stopped eating. They ate a few frozen blood worms the first day and haven’t eaten or been interested in food since. I feed them frozen blood worms and the tank is around 64 degrees. I do have a filter that moves sometimes and I noticed them swimming up to it, I have a new filter and a fan coming today or tomorrow. I leave the worms in the tank or a little bit before taking them out so I don’t know if they ate when I wasn’t looking. I know it takes a while for them to digest. Does anyone have any tips or knowledge they can share? The pet store I bought them from didn’t have gravel or sand in the tank so I’m not sure if theres an issue or if I’m just impatient. Thank you!
    +1
    Unlike
  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu, how big they are? also for substrate, i would not do gravel at all I would either do sand or none at all!
    +1
    Unlike
  • MuggleMiChu:
    They are about 2-3 inches long and I have them in a bare bottom tank
    +1
    Unlike
  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head away ( that's what mine do) if that does not work try to get some live brine shrimp and see if they eat that. baby axolotl prefer live food over frozen food as the frozen food is too cold for them or they can't eat it in one go( that's if you do the blocks) mine eat chopped up frozen thawed shrimp. as for them not eating from what I have experienced with my second axolotl, I got her when she was about an inch long and she ate every day, when they start getting 3-4 inches long they will gradually slow down there eating. and if you really want to do substrate I would do sand because if they do ingest a little bit it won't hurt them.
    +1
    Unlike
    HalfDrunkToast: @MuggleMiChu I would say try live black/blood worms untell they are full or just turn there head... +1
    Top